Whole Wheat Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
Plain and simple, I love lasagna. It’s the epitome of versatility with its layers of noodles that let you slip in whatever ingredients you please. You can have meat lasagna, chicken lasagna, veggie lasagna – anything! It can be healthy, unhealthy, whatever you want. But the best part about lasagna is that it’s such a different form of pasta – the sheets of noodles give you a lot more of that smooth pasta texture than any other kind of noodle. To me, it’s the pasta dish for pasta lovers who need a twist every now and then, and no one makes it better than my mom.
My mom makes lasagna on special occasions it seems, so when I had a craving on one not-so-special Wednesday, I decided to make the pasta casserole happen myself.
Every lasagna has to have the noodles, the sauce and various cheeses: mozzarella, Parmesan and ricotta. Even though the taste of the ricotta cheese in the lasagna isn’t my favorite part, it just feels like a necessity of lasagna composition. So even though I started off with the prescribed amount of ricotta mixture (1 15-oz. container plus two eggs), I wasn’t very liberal with its application. I had a probably a third of the mixture leftover; tune in tomorrow to find out what I did with the leftover ricotta (here’s a hint).
I assembled the lasagna the night before I planned to eat it. I cooked the noodles and made the layers, covered it all and put it in the fridge so it was ready to go the next day. That way, all I had to do was come home and pop it in the oven! It really makes getting dinner on the table much easier if you’ve done all the work BEFORE you’re hungry. :) So enjoy this recipe for my favorite spinach and mushroom lasagna – I know I did!
My mom makes the best lasagna – I used her recipe with whole wheat noodles!
12 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 15-oz. container ricotta cheese
1-2 pkgs. shredded mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese
2 24-oz. jars pasta sauce (any kind)
1 bag fresh spinach leaves
8-10 mushrooms, chopped
Cook whole wheat noodles in boiling water according to package directions. Stir while cooking to prevent sticking. Drain noodles, lay flat and set aside. In a small or medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese with 2 eggs. Mix until soft and well blended and set aside.
Spread some of your pasta sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Lay three of your noodles lengthwise across the sauce. Layer with: ricotta cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, spinach, pasta sauce. Add three more noodles across the top and repeat the layering order two more times. End with three noodles on top. Add some more pasta sauce followed by mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes in a 350-degree oven. You can prepare the lasagna ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator until ready to bake.